Security partnership in Argentina

An 18-year security partnership between PepsiCo and Securitas in Argentina has grown to cover a wide range of customized services, including vehicle inspection, CCTV surveillance, and security for worksites, special events and personnel.

One security service that has made a noticeable difference is an auditing system for inspecting truckloads of potato chips as they leave PepsiCo’s potato-chip plant on the outskirts of Buenos Aires – up to 80 truckloads per day. The system implemented and staffed by Securitas is designed to ensure that nothing is in the trucks that isn’t supposed to be. Before driving through one of the plant’s three gates, each driver presses a button, which then randomly displays a green or red light. If the light turns red, Securitas unloads, counts and verifies the cargo and then re-loads it.

The checks have dramatically reduced theft. “In 12 months, we have reduced our losses from 10 to 3 percent, which is tremendous if you add the fact that we grew organically by 35 percent during the same time,” explains Dr. José Valguarnera, Security Director for PepsiCo’s operations in Chile, Uruguay and Argentina.“What we mostly look for is an excess of cargo; the shipping document says 100 boxes when there are really 120.”

The audit process is a result of a 16-year-long partnership between PepsiCo, a division of Dallas, Texas-based Frito-Lay and Securitas. In recent years, this partnership has evolved into a diverse service package.

CCTV Cameras Monitor Multiple Locations

Today, for example, more than 100 CCTV cameras cover PepsiCo’s three processing plants and multiple distribution centers throughout the country. All of the cameras are linked to a newly opened alarm monitoring station at the Buenos Aires site. Here, a security officer from Securitas monitors all movements at all of the facilities’ gates, entrances and loading docks. This is also where all alerts from the intrusion and fire alarm sensors are received.

In addition, workers entering and exiting the plant pass through a metal detector and use a green-red system similar to that used for the trucks. If the light turns red as they exit, they are searched. A security officer is also posted outside the plant to inspect cars before they enter and make sure that, for example, the manager driving the car is not being held hostage.

Background Checks at Potato Farm

A less traditional assignment is to provide mobile patrolling and employee background checks at a potato farm. Pepsico opted for the unusual level of security because sub-contractors had been refusing to work there on the grounds that their equipment was being stolen.

Security officers patrolling the plant promote compliance with safety regulations, including the wearing of helmets, the right footwear, or protection outfits.

Security for “Coin” Promotion

A more tailor-made service was providing security during a PepsiCo “coin campaign.” During the campaign, PepsiCo manufactured plastic “coins” that could be exchanged for free bags of potato chips and put them randomly into some of the potato chip bags. A security officer was constantly posted during this procedure, to make sure none of the coins went astray. The first campaign lasted two months with 2.5 million coins distributed. Securitas was responsible for collecting them from stores, accounting for them, and delivering them back to the plant for destruction.

In addition, a dedicated Securitas supervisor is stationed on site to respond to varying security needs. Says Valguarnera: “We are not specialists in security; we make potato chips. We trust Securitas because they have the expertise. They are constantly one step ahead, being pro-active, and suggesting measures before we are exposed to any major harm or damage.”


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